Its About The Effort

Malachi fell very comically off the pew during the sermon today and at least 15 people surrounding us laughed. I sighed.

I live in constant expectation of a letter, "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Clark, please go find another church to attend... preferably of another denomination." Either that or a shiny new plaque, "Most disruptive family of the year." Congratulations.

Church attendance for the last...oh 3 years, has been more of a survival exercise then anything else. I try, I really do. It's just that I always seem to have a baby that absolutely refuses to go into the nursery and all my attempts to keep him silent during the sermon somehow manage to be both completely futile and completely distracting. I can usually manage to gather about half of the message, while keeping him at a low airplane-take-off volume.

I'm sure no one around us is lucky enough to even hear that blessed half, not with Malachi throwing cheetos, pushing cars thru the isles, and yelling about the "fishy, fishy! FISHY!" on the wall. Oh and my personal favorite- motorboating my chest. Every Sunday I feel like passing a hand over my forehead,"phew, we made it thru on more service" and then going individually to every other person there and apologizing.

The situation is hilarious- I'm the first to admit it. But it's also disheartening. On the one hand, I know our church membership and they are endlessly forgiving and patient. I dare say they actually enjoy our kids antics. On the other hand, sometimes I wish I didn't have to be the one on Ash Wednesday with the kids running in wild circles while I attempt to sing. Sometimes I fail to see the virtue in ruining everyone else's experience.

Its the effort that counts right?

I hope so, because honestly this permeates thru so much of our spiritual life right now. The family prayers that Zeke repeatedly interrupts to inform us that we forgot to thank God for his fork, and Malachi forgets about completely halfway thru, stuffing his mouth with noodles and only remembering to fold his hands again for the yelled "amen!" The "quiet time" I take every afternoon to read my bible and pray...the one that's interrupted 4569 times. The one where I read about patience, and then quickly lose it when a fight breaks out.

Please tell me its the effort that counts.

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